Tonawanda News — And so President Obama faces a Hobson’s choice: Do we stop writing the last check that still fosters any kind of peace between Israel and a neighbor? Or do we want to keep paying off a military establishment whose brutal crackdown will create a generation of hacked off extremists?
Because America failed to intervene at a meaningful stage of Egypt’s democratic uprising it lost credibility with any party that would eventually rise to power. It should come as no surprise in hindsight, then, that American and other western nations were helpless when Morsi began morphing into Mubarak 2.0, crushing political dissent, slowly empowering the most radical elements of his Islamist base and ignoring the will of the people, most of whom never trusted him in the first place.
Now Morsi is gone, his supporters are rioting in the streets and there’s already talk of a low-grade Islamist insurgency beginning to coalesce around the legitimate complaints their democratically elected government — though hardly democratic in practice — was stolen.
It seems impossible to imagine the Muslim Brotherhood, which, like it or not, is a significant power base in the Egyptian political solution, ever participating in another election. Whether they boycott or the military outlaws their very existence as Mubarak did is irrelevant. No elected leader can claim a credible hold on power if half the country refuses to contest an election.
For decades, Middle Eastern strongmen like Mubarak curried favor from the West by promising they were the only thing standing between order and chaos. At this stage the strongmen are the only ones who were right — a damning truth in the world’s response to the Arab Spring.
Is the world a better place without the Arab strongmen in power? Almost certainly it is better. It is not easier.